High-SchoolTexas: Bowie

District title implications on the line in Texas Week 4 football

September, 23, 2011
9/23/11
1:06
PM ET
Here's a shocker: Johnathan Gray set another record.

In the Bearcats' 62-17 win against Keller Timber Creek on Thursday, the senior tailback needed just eight carries to rack up 209 rushing yards and four touchdowns. That scoring output earned him the title of Texas' most prolific prep scorer ever, as Gray's current total of 920 points surpasses Sugar Land's Kenneth Hall (899) for most career points.

What's more, Gray, who's averaging almost five touchdowns a game, is just four points from moving into fourth nationally on the all-time scoring list.

To all Texas Longhorn fans: Yes, your team have questions at quarterback, but with freshman RB Malcolm Brown emerging and Gray headed to Austin next season, Mack Brown's squad might not ever need to pass the ball again.

With that said, let's move into this weekend's contests. As most teams move from their bye week into district play, there are quite a few intriguing matchups, but it's only natural to start at the top. So....

No. 1 Allen (3-0) at Plano (3-0)
History and the rankings aren't on Plano's side in this District 8-5A matchup, but when has that ever stopped an upset from happening? It's been six years since the Wildcats last beat Allen, with last season seeing them squander a 13-7 halftime lead. The Wildcats has shown offensive firepower during their 3-0 start, putting up 51 points per contest behind quarterback Richard Lagow's play (six TDs, no picks). But of course, the Eagles have their own standout QB in Alabama commit Alec Morris, who thrown for 13 touchdowns and zero interceptions. Plus, the bye week allowed tailback Jonathan Williams to get some much-needed rest for his ailing back, which could give the Eagles yet another weapon in an offense that was already averaging 43 points. It could be a shootout, but ultimately, Allen will again be too explosive for the Wildcats.
My pick: Allen 42, Plano 31

Coleyville Heritage (4-0) at No. 3 Euless Trinity (4-0)
For just about the entire season, Coleyville Heritage has been knocking on the state rankings door. But with a win against a very tough Trinity squad, the Panthers could finally make their way in. Heritage has shown an ability to spread around the ball while shutting down the opposition, winning their last two games by a count of 75-3 and before that beating a solid Hebron squad. Thing is, Trinity has been just as good, if not better. The Trojans have put together consecutive 64-0 shutouts and won last week without throwing the ball once (See, I'm not crazy). Plus, All-State defenders Brian Nance and Polo Manukainiu are back from injury, making that unit even scarier.
My pick: Trinity 38, Heritage 21

Bowie (2-1) at No. 10 Arlington Martin (3-0)
This one really could go either way, as both offenses and defenses are ones that deserve a salute. Not to mention it's a heated, District 4-5A rivalry game. Bowie is looking to bounce back after a big loss to No. 8 Skyline and the Warriors have the tools to do so. The offense boasts dual-threat QB Kolby Listenbee and tailback Russell Hansbrough while the defensive line is a handful. But Martin has successfully rode the backfield tandem of Kyle Hicks (361 rushing yards, six scores) and Cameron Williams (335 yards, four TDs). Plus, All-State defensive lineman Devonte Fields has rarely been stopped this year. Martin has the homefield advantage, but that can mean little in town rivalries. I smell an upset brewing.
My pick: Bowie 24, Martin 21

Brandon Parker covers Texas for ESPNHS magazine and ESPNHIGHSCHOOL.com. Follow him on Twitter @brandoncparker or email him at brandon.c.parker@espn.com.

Aledo vs. Lake Travis highlights Week 2 Texas football

September, 9, 2011
9/09/11
4:37
PM ET
Class 4A supremacy is on the line as No. 6 Aledo (1-1) and No 14 Lake Travis (2-0) face off in a highly anticipated battle.

Aledo, the two-time defending Division II champs, looks well past its season-opening loss to a Stephenville team that appears to be no slouch. Johnathan Gray has been his normal self through it all, rushing for 556 yards and nine touchdowns. The Texas commit sits just three touchdowns away breaking the state record for career scores, a mark that most expect him to break tonight.

Also on the Bearcats’ side is a home win streak that dates back to 2007 and momentum from last year’s meeting, when Aledo snapped Lake Travis’ 48-game win streak. (The Cavaliers still went on to win their fourth straight Class 4A title and third consecutive Division I crown.)

This year’s contest could take on a feel similar to 2010. Back then, the Cavaliers were without injured star quarterback Michael Brewer, who is now at Texas Tech. This time around, a shoulder injury could keep starting QB Colin Lagasse out of the lineup. Even so, the Cavaliers won't be too worried. Junior Baker Mayfield has stepped in nicely during the last two weeks, scoring nine total touchdowns. Who they will need, though, is leading wideout Griffin Gilbert. The senior missed last week’s win against Hendrickson with an injury but is expected to play.

This game will be plenty physical and should include tons of scoring, as both teams are anchored by their offense. Lake Travis has the better defense, holding its opponents to less than three yards a carry and 10.5 points a game, but neither team will be depending on its defensive unit to pull out the win.
Prediction: Aledo 35, Lake Travis 31

No. 1 Allen (2-0) at No. 11 Longview (2-0)
The top-ranked Eagles face their first test of the season on the road against an emerging Longview squad. Injuries could play a role in this game, as both starting tailbacks have struggled to recover this year. Allen's Jonathan Williams missed last week's game with back spasms, while J'Haston Faggans missed the Lobos' week two contest with a concussion. In the Eagles' case, quarterback Alec Morris has picked up the slack, throwing for six touchdowns last week in their experienced, high-powered offense. The Lobos, on the other hand, discovered a treasure at tailback, as Tory White filled in and ran for 172 yards last week. An upset isn't out of the question, what with Longview known for its intense home atmosphere. But the wisdom and skilled players that fill Allen's roster are hard to go against, so...
Prediction: Allen 28, Longview 24

No. 8 DeSoto (2-0) vs. No. 22 Cedar Hill (1-1) at Kincaide Stadium in Dallas
A heated rivalry renews itself tonight, when these two Southern Dallas teams face off. DeSoto's defense has yet to allow a touchdown this season, but that will likely change against an explosive Cedar Hill squad. Andre Anderson threw for three touchdowns to help the Horns bounce back from an opening loss and down a solid Denton Guyer program. Still, Cedar Hill will need to play mistake-free football to get past DeSoto.
Prediction: DeSoto 28, Cedar Hill 14

No. 18 Skyline (2-0) vs. No. 20 Bowie (2-0)
Both teams looked impressive in the Herbstreit Classic last weekend, with each putting up 36 points in their victories. Thing is, Skyline's win proved bigger with the Raiders knocking off a talented but reeling Cocoa squad from Florida. Bowie will need another big game from Russell Hansbrough (172 rushing yards and two scores last week) and Devin Williams (two forced fumbles) to pull out a win.
Prediction: Skyline 31, Bowie 20

Brandon Parker covers Texas for ESPNHS magazine and ESPNHIGHSCHOOL.com. Follow him on Twitter @brandoncparker or email him at brandon.c.parker@espn.com.

Skyline hands Cocoa another loss, Aledo bounces back

September, 6, 2011
9/06/11
2:10
PM ET
During last year's Herbstreit Classic, Skyline appeared out of its league against Florida power St. Thomas Aquinas in a 31-3 loss. On Monday, the Raiders exacted revenge against the Sunshine State by not only beating Cocoa (Fla.) handily, but also sending the Tigers — who brought a 38-game win streak into the season — to its second straight loss.

Known for his prowess at linebacker, Peter Jinkens showed off his offensive skills with two rushing touchdowns for the Raiders. The senior also pitched in to help his defensive comrades hold the Tigers' normally potent rushing attack to just 39 yards on 30 carries.

For more on this contest, as well as Bowie's 36-6 win against New Orleans' Edna Karr, click here. And to read how DeSoto capped off a Texas sweep at the Herbstreit Classic in a major way, click here

AROUND THE STATE
*A week after falling to Stephenville, Aledo is back to its winning ways after easily defeating Weatherford, 50-7, on Friday. What didn't change was Johnathan Gray, who continued his dominant ways with 336 rushing yards and five touchdowns on 15 carries. The senior is now just three touchdowns away from breaking the state record for most career scores.

*With QB Colin Lagasse (shoulder), WR Griffin Gilbert (WR) and RB Shaun Nixon all sidelined, the forecast for Friday's matchup against Hendrickson appeared dire. But for the second week in a row, Baker Mayfield carried the load. The junior quarterback racked up 256 yards through the air and totaled six touchdowns in the Cavaliers' 43-14 win against the Hawks.
Once Lagasse is healthy enough to play, coach Hank Carter has quite the decision on his hands between Lagasse and Mayfield. And with Aledo on tap this Friday, having Gilbert and Nixon back will be key if the Cavaliers hope to beat a team that snapped its 48-game win streak last year.

*Injuries also affected Allen, as tailback Jonathan Williams sat out Friday with back spasms. But just as Mayfield did for Lake Travis, Allen quarterback Alec Morris picked up the slack — and then some. Morris threw for 326 yards and totaled six scores before sitting out most of the second half in the Eagles' 59-0 win over Justin Northwest.

*Marshall Williams continued his assault through the air in Flower Mound's 44-36 win against McKinney Boyd. A week after throwing 505 yards (tops in the nation for Week 1) to go with six total TDs, the senior had 437 passings yards and four scores for the Jaguars. Check back later this week for more on Williams' quick start.

Brandon Parker covers Texas for ESPNHS magazine and ESPNHIGHSCHOOL.com. Follow him on Twitter @brandoncparker or email him at brandon.c.parker@espn.com.

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